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Title (English) Dear Brother
Title (Japanese) Oniisama E

book cover

Fantasy Novel

Notes Contains adult themes unsuitable for juveniles.
Genre(s): drama, high school.
Fr.= "Tres cher frere", It.= "Caro Fratello".
Jap, Italian video releases.
From a manga by IKEDA Ryoko, published in Margaret magazine.
Classification shoujo
Synopsis One of the most vivid and archetypal shoujo anime TV series, in which a naive 15 year old girl, Nanako, is admitted to an exclusive girl's school which proves to be a hotbed of rivalry and ill-repressed emotions. On her first day the beautiful Shinobu Mariko befriends Nanako with an enthusiasm that seems rather excessive... Meanwhile the tall and artistic "Saint-Juste" wilts hopelessly, while the lovely "Miya-Sama" rules her exclusive sorority with an iron will.
Many snobbish girls are enraged when homely Nanako is voted into the Sorority. This series features adult themes and situations; definitely not for juveniles. The 'Dear Brother' of the title is a young man to whom Nanako composes diary-like letters telling him about her troubles. Seiran school has an exclusive sorority, membership to which confers many social privileges (and also benefits such as extra tuition), and membership is eagerly sought after.

Mariko proceeds to undermine Nanako's friendship with her kindergarten friend Tomoko. Then there are three girls with strange nicknames: "Saint-Juste-sama" a disturbed girl, so tall and slim that Nanako initially mistakes her for a boy, Kauro-no-Kimi, tall and athletic, and opposed to the Sorority, but ill with heart trouble, and "Miya-sama" the chilly leader of the Sorority. Saint-Juste is hopelessly obsessed with Miya-sama. Kauro-no-Kimi befriends Nanako, who also is fascinated by Saint-Juste and tries to help her.
It is adapted from a short Image (60K) Image(60K) manga series.
Review It's no exaggeration to say that this is one of the most beautiful anime series I have ever seen, with very detailed character design. It's a drama, with none of the attempts at humour which are ubiquitous in recent anime, and contains some fairly shocking elements; indeed the series is, as soon becomes obvious, largely about intense female friendships, (which some will interpret as lesbianism), as well as about hazing and the less pleasant things that go on in schools. The series was clearly aimed at older girls and is frankly unsuitable for juveniles. It was shown briefly on Italian and French TV but proved too much even for these liberal regimes and was respectively cut and axed.
Now visit the Techno-Girls' site, which is the only other substantial source on the Internet of Onisama e information. The Techno-girls also did the only available fansubs (#1-#35). Their site has a list of distributors. There was a manga by Ryoko IKEDA of "Rose of Versailles" fame, but this is currently out of print. No complete set of episode translations or synopses for the anime seems to be available, but I do have a manga synopsis. The anime story is an expanded version of the manga story, and the two do not differ radically. I presume that there is a laserdisk or DVD set for the series, which you might investigate if money is no object.

Fan website

Credits Creator(s): Riyoko Ikeda; Series Director: Osamu Dezaki ; Character Designer(s): Akio Sugino
Voice Actors (regular characters): Hiroko Kasahara (Nanako Misonou), Waka Kanda (Tomoko Arikura), Sakiko Tamagawa (Mariko Shinobu), Sumi Shimamoto (Rei Asaka), Keiko Toda (Kaoru Orihara), Mami Koyama (Fukiko Ichinomiya), Masako Shousei (Aya Misaki)
Episodes 39
Release It:VHS, It:TV, Fr:TV, Iraq:TV
TV Showing See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.
Date 1991 July 14 - 1992 May 31
Production Mushi Production
References & Help Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.



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